Getting to Staten Island

I’ve been working on my race review for the NYC marathon for about a week now. However, due to lack of time, having any energy in my body to type and of course the editor mode being a pain in the arse; the days keep slipping away and I’ve only written about 1/3 of my experience. I wanted to make sure that I stay as honest and detailed as possible so give me a few more minutes/hours/days.

But I did wanted to share a small tidbit with you about one of my favorite things, the Expo. So please accept this small offering while I finish writing.


 

It started with a trip to the Jacob Javits Center on Thursday afternoon with a mission to pick up my bib and walk around the Expo.

Yeah, I'm gonna get my NY on

Hell yeah, I’m gonna get my NY on!

Of course I needed to get a picture of one of my favorite runners who would be joining me on the running route that Sunday, Kara Goucher.

#BFFS #runningbuddies

#BFFS #runningbuddies

Of course, she was a little quiet during our get together but whatever.

Then I followed up my time at the expo with my favorite thing, shopping.

I love new running gear!

I love new running gear!

There’s something always fun about buying running gear. Especially gear from a prestigious marathon that you’re gonna kick ass in. I had been saving my pennies for this expo and bought a few things that I had been eyeing online. I love this hoodie, by the way, its perfect whenever winter decides to kick in.

And then I saw this amazing wall post and I had to get a picture with it.

WorldMajorsPoster_NYCMarathon

As some of you know, one of my life goals is to run all six of the World Major Marathons. Well, after Sunday two out of the six have been completed with only four more to go; and one of those four happens to be Boston. Yeah, I don’t have the goal to complete them all before I turn 40 or something. I just want to get them all done before I die. I can’t believe I’m already a third of the way there!

After spending a few hours wandering around, checking out all the sales and getting my running geekiness on it was time to go and tackle a few other tasks. (Like having to work Friday and trying to get over a damn cold still.)

The next time I would be in the city would be with some friends eating carbs, in the lower East side on a cold and windy evening trying to calm my nerves before one of the biggest running events.

From One Day to the NYC Marathon

Seven years and one week ago, I went down to Harlem on the first Sunday in November to see a friend at the time run the NYC marathon. I wanted to get there early and have a good spot so I parked myself right before the 22 mile marker right on the curb. As soon as I got there, the elite women runners started to round the corner and I decided to capture this once in a lifetime moment of seeing these amazing athletes at their peak. I had been watching them in the morning as I was getting ready to come into the city and I was in awe of Paula Radcliffe, the British marathoner who was leading the pack. I amazingly got my camera out at the right moment and was able to get this shot.

Paula Radcliffe is in the lead. You know, the blur running by.

Paula Radcliffe is in the lead. You know, the blur running by.

Yep, she is the blur in the lead who was going so fast that I didn’t have time to let my camera focus on her. But I’m proud of this photo, I actually love it! It just goes to show you how strong of an athlete she is. Anyways, I took this photo and sat at that corner watching other marathoners run through the city until late into the afternoon. At some point, I quietly told myself, wouldn’t it be cool to do that one day? Maybe I can run a marathon.  

Well, instead of doing one, I’ve run three and last week was the race that inspired this all. Last week, I ran the New York City Marathon.

I’m still in awe that I completed it and now I giddily look back on the adventure, even though it was the coldest run that I have experienced in a really long time. But not matter, I was pretty much all smiles along the route and enjoyed taking in every moment that I had while running around my favorite city. I definitely wanted to honor the experience with its own post but I can’t help and look back at this photo and think of the person who took it. At the time, I had only been running on a treadmill at a gym and only participated in one road race; terrified of ever running outside because I didn’t want to deal with hills. Now, I train on the hills of Golden Gate Park, I’ve run several races with plans for more, especially in the world of marathons. If I had known then what I was about to do I would’ve laughed.

Even now, I have a smile on my face. DAMN! I ran the NYC Marathon. That was awesome!

Plugging Along

Seriously, I can’t believe its March already. I swore we just started 2014 yesterday. I’m amazed at how long it’s been. Here are the highlights:

– I got into another war with my Garmin 210. Again, I think the Garmin won. So instead of trying to replace the Garmin that I was frustrated with I decided to go with an upgraded version, the Garmin 620. It’s a bigger investment but so worth it for me. It does have a lot more features that I’m excited to use and some that I need. It’s been pretty awesome!

Nice to see you again, 10:30.

Nice to see you again, 10:30.

– Two weeks ago, I ran one of my best paces in a really, really long time. A 10:30 pace. It’s a time I haven’t seen since the days when I was running 5-6 days a week. Unfortunately afterwards, my left leg started to give me some issues and I decided to give myself some time to recover. The time off helped however now I’m fighting off a cold. A pretty bad one too. I haven’t been this sick in years and so instead of spending my weekend training or enjoying the gorgeous sunshine, I’m laying in bed surrounded by tissues, water, iced tea (my comfort drink) and my Netflix queue.

– I’m officially running the New York City Marathon this year. After the set back of 2012, I’m actually excited to train for the event since I found a new training method thanks to one of my new favorite blogs, Runs for Cookies. Katie ran last year’s Chicago Marathon as well and used the Hanson’s Marathon Method. The training schedule is a lot different from the traditional methods that I’m use to but the great perk is that the longest run is on 16 miles. YEAH! 16!!! The schedule is pretty consistent too with 5-6 days of running. I’m hoping that by using their method, I’ll hit a personal record.

– One of the things that I have avoided talking about on my blog is my weight. I’m not confident about it at all. Actually, I hate it. I’m really embarrassed about how much I weight since I probably haven’t weighed this much since my mom died. I probably weigh more. (I haven’t posted a photo of myself on the Interwebs in a long time, have you noticed?) I’m so sensitive to my weight that I’m not comfortable, still, talking about it here. But I want to be comfortable to do that, I want to feel comfortable with my own skin. Maybe one day I will let you know my starting weight, but right now I’m not there. With that said, my goal is to lose weight, enough that I’m in a healthy range again. I want to be a strong and fast runner and I know to become one I need to change the way that I eat. Because of that, I’ve joined Weight Watchers. I’ve done the program in the past so I’m hoping now I can have it really focus on doing it the healthy way and not freaking out every time I eat something that counts as a point. I just want to be healthy again. I started the program a few days ago and thanks to my cold I’m a little off, but everyday is a new day to get back on the program. Time to start over.

So that’s what my life has been looking like right now. Hope you’re all doing well.

Running Blues

It is exactly one month since I ran the Chicago Marathon and I haven’t run since.

Here’s what happened…

Here we go!

Here we go!

For those of you that aren’t aware and didn’t get my obsessive updates, I ran the Chicago Marathon this year with Team In Training. I signed shortly after the Boston Marathon bombing and since I had already done a marathon I wanted to do another to prove to myself (and the world) that marathoners are hardcore. It was a journey worth taking again. 

The view from the hotel. AMAZING

The view from the hotel. AMAZING

I made it to race day with a lot of bumps along the road. Getting to training was really hard regardless of time and location, but it was difficult for me to get out of my head a lot of times. I had a goal in mind and I was so set on that number that I forgot how much I love to run. It was to the point that on the day of the race I  had to throw out my goal and focus on completing the race before they started shutting down the route; fortunately I did. As soon as I crossed the finish line I found the passion again and I was already talking about the next race (which will be New York in 2014) and how I wanted to do better.

Fun Fact: Both Chicago and New York are part of the six major marathon races in the world. The other four are Boston, London, Berlin and Tokyo. By this time next year, I will have technically run two out of the six which means that I only have to get into four more to be a bad ass. Yeah, I’m already thinking about which one is going to be number three. 

After running my second wave of 26.2 miles my body was hurting everywhere and I mean everywhere. Every time I had to get up and go to the bathroom I cried a little because I ached from the bottom of my feet all the way to my shoulders. I spent the next day walking around the city with family and it helped with the healing process. By the time we got home to San Francisco, I was walking pretty normally but feeling pain in my foot that still wasn’t leaving. After a visit with the physical therapist a couple of weeks ago it was confirmed that I have plantar fasciitis. It’s a nice little injury on a tendon that runners often get and if it not treated it can cause bigger issues for the next race. With that said, the doctor put a stop to all running (and I mean all running) until I’m done with physical therapy which should be by the end of the month. I am bummed for reals. I’m already itching to get ready for New York and I can’t even go for a 1/2 mile run. So what have I been doing to distract my frustration? I’ve been looking at Half Marathons to run.

Yes! I know it’s a bad idea to run in my condition but I’ve been looking at races that I want to do next year & the following year, so that’s not so wrong. First one up is the Divas Half Marathon in 2014 a nice smooth route that I have run before. I’ve already recruited a few friends to join in and have a good time. For me, it’s something to aim for that I know once recovered I can just focus on getting to the finish line with a stellar time. (Yes, I’m back on the time thing, but halfs are a little easier on me mentally since 13 doesn’t scare me anymore.) After that, we have New York, so I need to focus all time and energy on that one. After that we’ll be getting ready for 2015 and I’m hoping to get into Disney’s Tinker Bell Half Marathon and the Disney’s Princess Half Marathon. Why? For two reason:

1. I want to go to both Disneyland & Disney World. (I’ve never been to Disneyland & I’ve only been to Disney World once in my life.)

2. Not only would I get 2 medals for completing the races but I can get three more!! Yeah! A total of FIVE!! One for doing a challenge on both coasts. But I can also do the Glass Slipper Challenge at the Princess Half Marathon, which is run a 10K on Saturday follow up with the Half Marathon on Sunday. Yeah, I’m extra crazy.

I think this recovery process is getting to me since I’m trying to do back-to-back races in 2015.  I’m mentally trying to make sure that I don’t lose focus. I miss how running was natural to me and my morning routine. If I start setting goals now it’ll be easier to work up to the challenges in the coming months. I’m hoping all this plotting for all small races will help me work my way up again to remember the pleasure of going out and having some quiet time while watching all the people go about their morning. I miss that. But until I get the ok, my only focus is rolling out my IT, stretching my feet and finding a way to shave off 15 minutes to my PR.

Coming Back to Life

You know how sometimes you’ll have those really quiet moments in your life and then BAM! everything hits all at the same time? Yep, that’s what my life has looked like for the last two weeks. Not that I’m complaining, I’m just trying to get some order in my life. I’ve lost my routine and I hate that. However, the one thing that comes with me being this crazy is that I got a gym membership and oh how I’ve missed going to the gym.

I’m not a big gym rat. I’ve never really been the one to obsess going over everyday but having a place to go and burn off steam has been beneficial to my marriage. 🙂 Not that Jon and I fight a lot but there are a few things here and there that still drive me up that wall that I need to “work out”. (Pun intended) But since the weather is still gorgeous here and hitting the the low 80s/high 70s it’s been a perfect time to get s0me swimming in since I’m still holding off on running.

If you’re not aware, I had to pull myself out of the NYC Marathon this year due to an injury. I was feeling a lot pain in my foot & knee at mile 2 when I was trying to do 18 miles. I didn’t feel safe running that distance and after mile 6 the pain was getting worse. I went to see a Dr. and they gave me the official verdict of not this year, but maybe next year. I was heart broken and depressed for a while but knew that pushing myself could only make it worse and do some serious damage. I bowed out while I could and have been told that I’ll be guaranteed entry for next year. I’m glad I get the chance to still run it, but giving up the dream of running with Paula has been a little hard.

I’m planning on a slow return to the sport. As much as I want to jump in right away, I know that I’m going to resent it if I get injured, so I’m going to start with just 2 miles. It’s a far cry from where I use to be but I think that 2 is a good start. I think today might be the day to start.  It’s overcast with a lovely shade of grey and there’s a cool breeze. Plus running now means I’ve got it over and done with for the day. So it’s decided. Today is the day where the sneaks come out, get laced up and are put to use.

This is a good way to start a weekend!

What every runner thinks at least once.

Running On Low

I’m trying really hard on not being discouraged with my running.

When I started two years ago I fell in love with the sport and couldn’t get enough of spending time with my girlfriends and logging in the miles. Now, I dread waking up and going for an easy seven and feel like I run slower then molasses being poured out of a jar.

The New York Marathon is 92 days away and counting and in a weird sense I feel really unprepared for it. I know I’ve just started my training and I’m doing well but I’m afraid that I’m not as strong as I should be. See, my goal is to do the race in about 4:30, but the means running a 10:15 mile, and on my longer runs I’m closer to a 10:30 right now. So I’m trying to be ok with the idea of running the race under 4:59, maybe a more realistic goal without injuring myself and at the same time pushing myself hard to run faster then my last marathon.

My last marathon was the 2010 Nike Women’s Marathon here in San Francisco. I completed it in 5:45. It was cold, wet and a horrible race when I was preparing for the warmer weather. I over hydrated on gatorade so much that by the time I crossed the finish line my fingers were swollen up. It wasn’t a pretty site and I was thrilled to have completed it so now I’m trying to have a better memory of running a marathon and doing a Personal Record.

This weekend I’m running 9 miles, the longest I’ve run since early May and I’m hoping to pace better. I’ve got new shoes, new gear and new chewys to chomp on during the day. The downside is that my arches are super sore from blistering up and so they’ve become super sensitive, even if I put gel on them. I start feeling pain at around the 4/5 mile mark and running on California’s curved roads doesn’t help. I’m trying to not let it get to me, but it sort of is. BLAH!

Regardless, the track and field events begin today during the Olympics and I’m excited. (Here come the fastest human beings in the world.) I think watching them run today will be a great training inspiration to get me out of bed tomorrow. If they don’t work then I know this kid will. He gets me every time. Yes, I’m a sucker for marketing campaigns!

New York in November or Bust

This past Thursday, the greatest news was emailed to me.

I'm In

Holy Schnikes! I got accepted!

Yes, people of the world, I got into the New York City Marathon. I was one of the millions of people who hoped and prayed and my prayers were answered. HUZZAH! So in November of this year I’m going to be running the 5 boroughs, probably peeing in my pants and hoping to get my name in the New York Times with a 4:20 Personal Record (PR). My last race was 5:30 and it was torture, but fortunately with New York, it’s a relatively flat race. I mean the only hill is in mile 1 getting out of Staten Island.  SA-WEET!

Right now, I’m not in the marathon zone at all. I’m running a half marathon next week which should help and today I signed up to train with a local running group in my town, A Runner’s Mind. The staff there are super nice and since it’s early I think they’ll be the best people to get my fat butt into kick arse mode. However, I don’t think I’m going to be the best person to be training with every Tuesday at 6am.

Ahh running season; the perfect reminder that my days of sleeping in on Saturdays will be just a dream for a few months.